According to my scouts, day one for them was a lot about learning about MDG 1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger). Day 2 was our trip to Brookfield Zoo and our sessions were all related to MDG 7 (or better to known to us scouts as the Forever Green program). To be able to learn about environmental sustainability up close made it all the better, and reinforces how we as scouts discover, connect and take action.
Our day began with an informative session at the dolphin house. We also were treated to a fun dolphin show. Our bus unfortunately was a little late because it got lost, so I had to be filled in later from some of my friends. What we missed was a little bit about what they were doing there. Yes, these are dolphins that know fun little tricks, but, it's done with a purpose. Dolphins are very smart, and like humans, are constantly learning. In their work with the dolphins, it helps them understand how their brains work. They also have a chance to tackle major environmental issues that affect not only the dolphins, but marine life world wide. FYI: if you see a dolphin in the wild, don't touch it!
We then did a little session where we learned about the water on our planet. The girls were given a bucket, which represented all the water on earth. They had to divide it up into smaller portions. In the end, they were left with a tiny drop of water, which represented the amount of drinkable water. It was frightening considering they gave them 5 gallon buckets to start out with! The girls also got a chance to play a game where they had to match up a given lake with the continent that it resided on. These girls did a great job!
So, back to that palm oil thing. This is VERY real! There are farmers who illegally harvest palms for palm oil, and in turn are hurting not only orangutans, but lots of other wild life (including other plants!). We got to listen to a seminar on this crisis, and it's just shocking to know that such a travesty is going on right underneath our noses. It is comforting to know that GSUSA is doing their part to help. Our seminar also included a section on those who are illegally cutting down endangered trees and other wildlife for various products. The Forrest Stewardship Council or FSC for short, is trying to help prevent this. If you see their logo on products, you know that it means that product is up to par and is not from any illegal deforestation.
Remember that logo the next time you buy paper, lumber, or even an instrument!
Our next session was related to climate change. Ok, I gotta be honest with you here. I took notes on this session because I was just so tired by the time it came around, and I have not yet transcribed them. I do remember talking about how climate change has affected the ozone layer, glaciers and more. As for the rest, I'll need to look at the notes and hope that I got good ones. However, this session was in an outdoor pavilion, and it started thundering and raining, so we got cut short and had to take cover.
Just our luck, right as we were leaving, it started raining again. Well, more like poured. And our bus got stuck in rush hour traffic, which then took us two and a half hours to get back to the hotel. It was very satisfying to see that hotel. We made a joke that we knew were home because of a restaurant right across the street.....
Heaven on Seven! It's a Louisiana style restaurant, which we identified as good, down home, Southern comfort food. We did not get a chance to eat there, but, during our free time that night, we got something just as good.....
We were right there, in Chicago! What foods should you eat, you ask? Pizza, hot dogs and popcorn of course! We were rebels on did not eat dinner at the hotel. Instead, we went out with some friends for some REAL Chicago pizza and popcorn. We took it and went down to the Navy Pier to eat. There was just not enough time for us to sit and savor it, but it was nice regardless.
As for what we did the next day, well, just wait and read about it....